Hunters in Nevada really struggled in 2020 and 2021 for big bucks. Except for a few units, the statewide population and age class are way down. Currently, most of Nevada is in some level of drought. The northern half of the state has been getting better moisture than the southern end. Nevada is getting just enough moisture for us to keep our hopes up. If it continues through the spring, any of the mature bucks left should finish out the horn growth strong. It’s too early to tell how the moisture levels are going to end up, but it does not look great for Nevada.
Nevada has some great genetics, and on good moisture years, it can really produce some great bucks. Southeastern Nevada is the more popular area when it comes to trophy class bucks. These units typically have lower tag numbers, great genetics, and thick enough cover for bucks to grow old. The units in northeastern Nevada are producing some great bucks as well and should be looked at for an opportunity at 150-170"+ bucks. If you are looking for a 180" buck, you should stick to our top picks unless you have inside information on where a big buck is.
Nevada has one of the earliest archery seasons in the West. It’s a great time to be chasing velvet bucks. Most units’ seasons start out with a month-long archery hunt that begins August 10th followed by a three-week muzzleloader season that runs into October. Several units have split rifle hunts (early and late) and two-week seasons, with some exceptions. Most of the northwest units have moved to an extended month-long season from October 5th to November 5th to allow hunters more opportunity to harvest in units that have lower deer densities. Units 101-109, 171-173, and 221- 223 have three different rifle seasons. There are quite a few other units with different season dates than the normal ones, which allows some premium hunt dates for all weapons. The wide variety of hunts offered during different times of the year provides plenty of opportunities to fit a hunt into your schedule.
For specific units, seasons, and dates please consult the regulations.
Nevada’s deer population, like all other states, is tied to suitable habitat. With the dry, arid climate that encompasses much of the state, it’s understandable that deer densities are not as high as other western states. One could only imagine how many deer Nevada could hold if the state could do something about all the feral horses that are destroying Nevada’s habitat. Nevada’s feral horse population is at an all-time high of 52,000. It’s crazy to think that there are more wild horses in Nevada than elk, sheep, and antelope combined. Even in Nevada’s top units, mature bucks can be difficult to find, so prepare for a long hunt regardless of the trophy potential of that unit and know that a great buck can come from almost any unit in the state.
Another option to pick up a deer tag is the first-come, first-served list. Last year, 560 buck tags were turned in and reissued to hunters on the first-come, first-served list. Hunt Advisor Robert Hanneman picked up a rifle buck tag off the list last year
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The Nevada application deadline is May 10, 2022 at 11:00 p.m. (PDT).
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|Hunt/Fish Combo License (365-day license)||$156|
|Youth Hunt/Fish Combo License (365-day license)||$16|
|Application Fee (all species except elk)||$14|
|Silver State Tag Application Fee (all species except elk)||$24|
|PIW Application Fee||$11|
|Bonus Point Only Fee||$11|
|Deer (regular draw tag)||$241|